In what could be construed as triumph of corporate interest over national interest, the iconic Harley-Davidson bike will now not just be merely assembled, but fully built in India — lock, stock and barrel. The company has asked suppliers in the US and Thailand to set up bases at Bawal in Haryana and offered them land as well. With over 60% localisation in components, the cheapest Harley Superflow that costs around Rs 5.5 lakh in India now would become 40-45% cheaper.
US President Barack Obama, during his maiden visit to India last November, had played up Harley’s plans to set up a plant in India as a win-win for jobs for both countries. With the company now deciding to virtually ‘junk’ plans for a mere completely-knocked-down (CKD) units facility — an industry euphemism for mere assembly operations — Obama’s US jobs math is sure to take a hard knock.
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